Congress today mounted a strident attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over relationship with Pakistan and asked him to “stop embarrassing India” as it advocated a “wait and watch” policy regarding talks with the neighbouring country in the wake of Pathankot terror attack.
Alleging that Modi government has mastered the art of taking “unauthorized U-turns”, party spokesperson Kapil Sibal ridiculed its functioning saying the government was “not realizing that such u-turns only lead to accidents.”
“That is why Pathankot has become Pareshan (disturbed) kot,” he said.
Taking potshots at the Prime Minister over his surprise visit to Lahore some time back and other steps on foreign policy, Sibal said Modi is trying to “make history without learning from history”.
“Instead of trying to make history, Modi should learn from it. Once bitten twice shy is an age-old adage. We have been bitten not once but several times and yet the immature handling of Pakistan has belittled the stature of the office Mr.Modi holds. The mindless wooing of Pakistan is bound to result in betrayal.
“The government has no cohesive Pakistan policy. It has failed to stop cross-border infiltrations, whose number has crossed over a thousand since this government came to power,” Sibal said.
Recalling that Modi met his Pakistani counterpart in Ufa, in Paris and a third time in Lahore as a willing invitee to Nawaz Sharif’s birthday and family wedding, the Congress spokesperson said,”acceptance of such an informal invitation without any preparatory homework is unbecoming of a Prime Minister, who has exposed himself to ridicule after yet another betrayal by Pakistan at Pathankot. ”
Sounding dismissive of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s overtures after the Pathankot attack, Sibal said that India has given such documents to Pakistan many times and hence “we must wait and watch what Pakistan is going to offer us because Pakistan has let us down on many occassions.”
Noting that Modi and his “Bhakts” may term his presence at a family event as out of the box diplomacy, Sibal alleged,”it is in reality mindless diplomacy”.
“Modi’s uncharacteristic surprises often end up embarrassing the nation. We would like to know, what the country has gained from the meeting of NSAs at Bangkok and Modi’s immature decision to drop-in at Lahore on his way back from Kabul,” he said.
Since May 2014, Modi’s Pakistan policy is “confused, lacks continuity and is bereft of institutional guidance”. That is why the Minister of Foreign Affairs is sidelined and none of the other senior ministers are privy of what he is up to. Modi’s Pakistan policy is like an unguided missile which creates a spectacle when fired but loses trajectory and inevitably crash-lands. Stop embarrassing India,” Sibal said.
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Taking a swipe at Modi over his suprise trip to Lahore, Sibal said, “sometimes a hug can become a bug”.
“Mr Prime Minister, it is our advice that you should neither walk nor talk with terror. And when the country is in the midst of dealing with a terrorist threat, then it is time to skip Yoga lessons and be in Delhi to take charge.
“A supple body also needs a supple mind. A little circumspection before dropping in at the “padosi’s” birthday party might have saved us the embarrassment. Sometimes a hug can become a bug,” the Congress spokesperson said.
He noted that there has to be some institutional decision.
“Why did he stop in Lahore? No one knows. Even his Ministers don’t know. We can’t understand when PM was in Kabul, why did he break journey. In foreign policy there are mechanisms in place. They can’t just drop in. It’s not like visiting a friend in Lutyens Delhi,” Sibal said.
The Congress spokesperson said the Prime Minister and his tweeting entourage seem to have “tweeted their way to complete immaturity.”
“It is time these ministers, even if they don’t take themselves seriously, at least should be serious in their tweets. Our tweeting Prime Minister and his tweeting ministers have tweeted enough. I request them all to tweet that they will stop tweeting and spend those precious moments giving serious thought to finding solutions to highly complex issues,” he said.
Noting that in any attack the response of the government is the key to minimizing damage, Sibal said that Government claims that it had prior intelligence, but what did it do?
“Was the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security convened? The answer is ‘No’. The Prime Minister was away in Mysuru, the Home Minister was to leave for Assam. There was none to take charge. The entire operation was left to be mishandled by the NSA, who ill-advised the government.
“It is the core competence of the Army and not the NSG to deal with such attacks. It seems the NSA wanted to take credit for this operation and kept the Army at bay,” Sibal said targetting NSA Ajit Doval.
“The Home Minister did not even make himself available for the next cabinet meeting held on January 6. The fact is that due to over centralization of power, the Modi government is making tactical blunders jeopardizing the country’s security.
“The reality is that this government has no clue. The Services were briefing on their own, the Ministers were briefing on their own, the BSF was briefing on its own and the Home Secretary was briefing on his own. There was no coordination whatsoever between agencies. It was a free for all,” Sibal said.
Alleging that Modi has a habit of opposing all good things till the time he is not the author, Sibal cited the instances of MGNREGA Insurance Regulatory Bill and AADHAAR to hammer home the point that had the BJP not opposed the National Counter Terrorism Centre envisaged by UPA government in 2012, the situation could’ve been handled much better today.